Melbourne police deny youth crime ‘crisis’


By SJA Jafri

MELBOURNE: Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp said talk of a “crisis” among the state’s African community was wrong.

“There is not a crisis in this state in relation to crime, or the behaviour we’re seeing of a relatively small number of people of African background,” Crisp told the ABC.

Crisp said there had been a spike in anti-social behaviour over the holidays. That includes a riot where more than 100 youths of Caucasian appearance ran wild in Torquay on January 4, injuring a police officer.

Andrews said there had been some “nasty” incidents but he was confident Victoria Police is turning it around.

Victoria’s new African-Australian community task force is meeting on Friday for the first time to launch its mission to prevent youth crime and ease racial tensions.

Victoria’s “civil libertarian” judges are to blame for youth violence, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says, but he won’t say if his government will offer any funding to help the state out.

A series of recent high-profile crimes involving youths of African appearance, including assaults, brawls, armed robberies and home invasions in suburban Melbourne, has sparked criticism of the Victorian government’s policies.